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August 15, 2006 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Does sneezing make you stupid?

I have pretty bad allergies so I sneeze a lot. Sometimes after four or five sneezes in a row I feel really lightheaded and can't remember what I had been thinking about. Does sneezing kill lots of brain cells? If I sneeze 40 times a day for months at a time is it going to irrevocably make me stupid for life?
posted by petsounds to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you have to ask...
posted by Hildago at 9:36 AM on August 15, 2006 [3 favorites]


Just kidding. I assume that the lightheadedness is because you're tensing up and restricting blood flow, as well as hyperventilating a little bit by repeatedly sneezing. I doubt it would do any harm to your intelligence unless you sneezed so often that you couldn't go to school. I'm not a doctor, of course.
posted by Hildago at 9:40 AM on August 15, 2006


I have the same problems, and the same reaction. After being prescribed a steroid-based spray, most of that has cleared up, however.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:53 AM on August 15, 2006


Please note that nasal sprays are "corticosteroids".  When you just say "steroid" it sounds like you're a body builder or something.
posted by drleary at 10:00 AM on August 15, 2006


I agree with both of Hildago's points.
posted by SciGuy at 10:39 AM on August 15, 2006


drleary writes "When you just say 'steroid' it sounds like you're a body builder or something."

It might do except the conversation is about sneezing. I'd be more worried about sounding like a complete tosser saying corticosteroids instead of steroids.

And if this question is actually legitimate, then I would vote that no brain cells are killed by sneezing. But 40 times a day? Seriously? And you've never done anything about that? Well you should. You know, doctor/script kind of thing.

I get dizzy when I stand up. It goes away pretty quickly. Not all minor episodes in life have extreme consequences.
posted by peacay at 10:42 AM on August 15, 2006


Thanks for the reasuring replies. I've tried medicine but usually they dont work or the side affects are annoying. I actually kind of like the feeling of sneezing.
posted by petsounds at 10:57 AM on August 15, 2006


But 40 times a day? Seriously? And you've never done anything about that?

I have sneezing "episodes". I sneeze maybe 5-6 times, and then blow my nose, or, you know, start crying because the world is so unfair. On a bad day, I can have 2 or 3 of these episodes in a period of an hour. Usually, these hours are unique to a day, but on a very bad day, it can go on for an afternoon or an evening, and completely knock me out of doing anything productive.

I can manage most of it through daily use of Claritin-D, as that'll take away the itching and the resulting congestion. However, over my time using that drug, I believe I've developed a tolerance. Hence my doctor putting me on Flonase.

A freaking godsend, that stuff is.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:18 AM on August 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


I once came out of a restaurant and sneezed hard three times when the sun hit me, and for the next 20 minutes I couldn't make sense out of anyone's face. The rest of the world looked normal, but everybody's face looked like Mr. Potatohead with the features scattered around at random.

It had its entertaining aspects, but on the whole, I would say I enjoyed my sneezes more before they took on an overtone of a voyage into the unknown.
posted by jamjam at 11:28 AM on August 15, 2006


I have pretty bad allergies so I sneeze a lot. Sometimes after four or five sneezes in a row I feel really lightheaded and can't remember what I had been thinking about. Does sneezing kill lots of brain cells?

This might be a confusion of cause and effect: i.e., that the allergy is causing the confusion and lightheadedness. It happens to me sometimes, actually, especially when pollen is really bad.
posted by The Michael The at 11:42 AM on August 15, 2006


Apparently, in rare cases. It seems to be caused more by the motion you make when sneezing than it is by the sneeze itself.

Didn't your mom tell you when you were a kid not to hit your siblings on the head, because it would make them lose brain cells? I don't know if that's true, but if you accelerate and decelerate really quickly on the way to sneeze position, maybe your brain could theoretically whap lightly against the inside of your skull . . . but I wouldn't worry.
posted by booksandlibretti at 11:46 AM on August 15, 2006


I have problems with nasal allergies and at my worst, sneezing 40 times a day isn't unheard of.

And for all the people who say, "Get thee on antihistamines," well, I have been on many, and they all interfere with my ability to orgasm, so I'll take the sneezing any day, thanks! =)
posted by agregoli at 11:47 AM on August 15, 2006


Depending on the force of your sneezes, the recoil might be banging your brain against the inside of your skill. Note: I am not a doctor.
posted by feaverish at 3:50 PM on August 15, 2006


It does! Apparently it's too late for you, but let this thread stand as a warning to future sneezers.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:11 PM on August 15, 2006


I have allergic rhinitis and sneeze on occasion. Used to do so a lot more when I was younger. No damage to brain cells... in fact, I would hazard a guess that the increased amount of inhalation going on before a sneeze gives your brain more oxygen. More oxygen is supposed to be a good thing.
posted by nihraguk at 2:54 AM on August 23, 2006


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